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Cebu river basin council formed

by Hazel F. Gloria
[ ] August 6-7, 2011

CEBU CITY—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has gathered a multi-sectoral group to form the Central Cebu River Basins Management Council as a driver for economic growth.

“This partnership with local executives of Cebu, national government agencies, and other stakeholders is proof that the DENR is serious and relentless in the pursuit of our mandate for an integrated watershed management as a national strategy,” said Maximo Dichoso, DENR Region 7 executive director.

He cited the overarching concern of Cebuanos over access to water as a key factor in health, social welfare, and economic progress.

Dichoso said water supply for domestic, industrial and agricultural use was showing increased salinity in lowland urban aquifers.

The morandum of cooperation of 37 representative sectors called for rehabilitation, protection and conservation of the river basins, recognizing that “the process of and Integrated Water Resources Management promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources.”

The memorandum signing was led by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez, Toledo City Mayor Aurelio Espinosa, and Danao City Mayor Ramon Durano Jr.

“We will seek the endorsement of the Regional Development Council-7 for support and in order to strengthen the organization also,” Dichoso said.

They were joined by Asturias Mayor Alan Adlawan, Balamban Mayor Ace Stefan Binghay, Compostela Officer-in-Charge and Department of Interior and Local Government-7 Regional Director Pedro Noval Jr., Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado, Liloan Mayor Vincent Duke Frasco.

Participating agency heads included Metro Cebu Water District general manager Armando Paredes; Agriculture-7 regional executive director Leo Cañeda; Health-7 regional director Susana Madarieta; DPWH-7 director Pedro Herrera Jr.; TESDA-7 director Rosanna Urdaneta; NIA-7 director Diosdado Rosales; BFAR-7 head Andres Bojos; and lawyer Cesar Olaer, finance department.

The advocacy groups were represented by William Granert of Soil and Water Conservation Foundation Inc.; Jose Gapas, Mag-uugmad Foundation; Renato de Rueda, Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation; Rafael Lopa, Philippine Business for Social Progress; Joy Caceres, Environmental Legal Assistance Center; Evelyn Castro, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.; Fe Walag, University of San Carlos-Water Resources Center; Fr. Mar Alingasa; Cebu Uniting for Sustainable Water executive director Socorro Atega; and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Samuel Chioson. PIA

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